Cisco Meraki Systems Manager (MDM+EMM) Review

Stable and great for iOS but lacks functionality with Windows devices


What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for iPhone management.

What is most valuable?

The ability to push out applications is a great aspect of the solution.

We can create a tag of a phone and we can create a package of applications, and then we can tag the device and say, "This device must have these applications." The solution ensures that the device gets those applications.

We also like that it allows us to get applications without setting up iCloud accounts. For some of our employees, the extra steps to have "yet another account" are simply not needed, when all they want the is the app store (and not all of the other iCloud functionality).

For example, a delivery driver - we want him to have Google Maps, Outlook, Chrome, and a Time Clock app.  We can push these apps out through Meraki MDM without having to set him up with an iCloud account.  

What needs improvement?

We've used the iOS client. The Windows client has a lot to be desired to be a full management tool. 

We first tried the Windows client, but quickly determined that it wasn't going to cut it for most Windows cases. The Windows portion of this product needs improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using this solution for a few years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is very good. It's reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I'm not sure how the solution scales. In our experience, we've only put it on twenty devices. 

How are customer service and technical support?

We've never contacted technical support for Systems Manager

How was the initial setup?

Deployment took a few hours, initially. However, the total time to fully understand it and get into the weeds with the way it works will take a lot longer since there's so much to it. It took us a few months of testing it out here and there to get comfortable to roll it out.  Bear in mind, we didn't have a deadline, and this was being done as a side project.

What about the implementation team?

in house.

What was our ROI?

Error can't divide by $0.00

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We're using a free version of the solution.  But if we exceed the limit the pricing was in line with other MDM solutions.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No, we had a free license to one hundred seats of Systems Manager from our Meraki firewalls.  We have since looked at Jamf and Microsoft Intune.

What other advice do I have?

There's a lot of options in the configuration and the setup.  Make a test device and a test group and make sure you fully understand what is going on before you roll it out.  For example, one setting lets you deny use of Safari, which sounds good till the user clicks a link in an email and it won't open.  *Unless you use Microsoft Outlook which allows you to pick the app that links open in.

Setting up VPP and DEP takes a little bit of effort, but these will be required no matter the MDM solution you choose. The Apple device enrollment program allows devices bought from the carrier you are registered with to show up in the account. 

On the Apple side, the VPP allows you to bulk buy apps, that's the same, regardless of which MDM solution you use.

Personally, we don't plan to continue to use it going forward. While the Apple side of the solution is great, the Windows side just has a lot of problems.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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